Thought Leadership

Taking the First Step in Portable Stimulus Adoption

By Matthew Ballance

As the Chinese proverb says, “A journey of a thousand miles starts with a single step”. The first steps of any endeavor are often a critical determinant in its ultimate success or failure. Given the complexity of new technologies, new-technology adoption can be a particularly daunting journey. New technology – especially technology designed for enterprise application – is often very flexible and applicable in a wide range of ways. Some ways of adopting a new technology in an organization can be simple and require the involvement of just a few people, while others require buy-in and commitment across the entire organization. Ensuring that the first phases of adopting a new technology are successful helps to ensure that future phases will be successful as well. The converse is certainly true as well!



Adopting the Accellera Portable Test and Stimulus Standard (PSS) is no exception. The PSS language was designed to be flexible and have a wide variety of applications, as you can see from the diagram above. PSS is designed to support multiple user profiles across multiple applications. This flexibility is intended to make PSS adaptable to new applications that haven’t been yet envisioned and, ultimately, future-proof. While this flexibility is critical for the long-term success of PSS, in the short term this multitude of possible applications makes it more difficult to figure out “what PSS is for”, since it’s intended to be used for many things today and in the future.

One thing that simplifies new technology adoption is to initially narrow focus to a single application of the new technology that is valuable to a specific organization and is relatively straightforward to deploy. The goal is not to get the maximum value from the new technology, but rather to establish a technology beachhead from which to prove the value of the new technology and from which to expand to new applications.

When approaching portable stimulus deployment with this staged approach in mind, a critical first step is to consider categories of application for the new standard, and their relative tradeoffs in terms of overall value and ease of deployment. Selecting a Portable Stimulus Application Focal Point, in the most recent issue of Verification Horizons, outlines three broad application profiles for portable stimulus. Each of these applications has different tradeoffs in terms of value delivered to the organization, and how ambitious a project it is to deploy that application profile.

I’d encourage you to check out Selecting a Portable Stimulus Application Focal Point, especially if you’re currently considering how to approach portable stimulus adoption in your organization. I’m interested in your thoughts on the application profiles that the article describes — especially if you feel that I’ve missed a major category or two — and what application profile you think would make a good technology beachhead in your organization. Every journey begins with a single step, and selecting the right first step when deploying a new technology is critical to its long-term success within your organization. Choose wisely!


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This article first appeared on the Siemens Digital Industries Software blog at